Did you go on a school trip to Canberra?
Maybe you looked for loose change at the mint? Placed a poppy next to your great uncle’s name at the War Memorial? Hoped for a glimpse of a pollie at Parliament House?
If those are your memories, special though they are, maybe it’s time to revisit the city – and see Canberra in a whole new light.
Cue the ENLIGHTEN program – part of the Canberra Festival where more than a dozen attractions will be open after dark over two weekends (March 2-3 and 9-10) offering a new, illuminating perspective on our national capital.
There will be eye-popping exhibitions, live performances, tours and talks. Most are family-friendly. Some are ticketed, heaps are free.
The ENLIGHTEN program has something for everyone, from the Making Waves exhibition at the Gallery of Australian Design, an extraordinary collection of wooden surfboards, to I Am Devotion – stories of courage and sacrifice read in the atmospheric Hall of Memory at the Australian War Memorial.
You can also experience:
– Glowtime, family friendly night-time tours and talks at the Museum of Australian Democracy.
– An astonishing soundscape of Antarctica by artist Philip Samartzis at the National Archives of Australia.
– An art masterclass at The National Portrait Gallery. Even novices are welcome to learn from renowned portrait artists including Jiawei Shen, (who painted Princess Mary’s portrait).
– More than 70 glorious Renaissance paintings while listening to music at the National Gallery of Australia.
– The brilliance of a live performance by Clare Bowditch beside Lake Burley Griffin at the National Museum of Australia.
– Jackson Pollock meets ping pong. Messy fun for the whole family, in the outdoor Entertainment Precinct.
– The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik, Deep Sea Explorer, by Tim Watts at Questacon. A brilliant fusion of mime, puppetry, projection, music and stories.
And let’s not forget Canberra is home to more restaurants per capita than any other city in Australia.
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Have you been to Canberra? What’s your favourite attraction? Which of the ENLIGHTEN experiences most appeal to you?